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Blog Archive

 

Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/10 01:51 CST

It's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?�

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Photos and video: Bill Nye at the 2012 White House Science Fair

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/09 05:17 CST

On Tuesday, Bill Nye was privileged to attend the second White House Science Fair. Here are some photos and video of the event.

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Put New Horizons on a stamp

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/09 12:26 CST

A week ago, the New Horizons team announced an effort to gather signatures in support of a petition to the U.S. Postal Service to commemorate the historic flyby of Pluto on a stamp.�

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In memory of Susan Niebur

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/08 04:47 CST

Planetary scientist Susan Niebur passed away on February 6, 2012, of inflammatory breast cancer. While I did not know Susan very well personally, I knew her professionally as a staunch supporter of and passionate organizer for young people, women, and families in planetary science.

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Has Mars Express MARSIS data proved that Mars once had a northern ocean?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/07 05:46 CST

There's been a bit of buzz on the Web this week regarding an ESA press release titled "ESA's Mars Express radar gives strong evidence for former Mars ocean." I don't ordinarily write about press-released science papers, but am making an exception for this one

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NuSTAR telescope to get close look at black holes, supernovae

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/02/07 02:40 CST

The NuSTAR X-ray telescope will enable scientists to get a much-improved look at black holes and supernovae in both the Milky Way and other galaxies.

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Planetary Radio: A Modest Plea For Both Big and Not-So-Big Space Science Funding

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/02/06 09:46 CST

This weeks Planetary Radio features updates on the James Webb Space Telescope, from Deputy Project Director Eric Smith. The discussion centers around the budget controversy, and why the JWST is worth the money.

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Phobos-Grunt Failure Report Released

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2012/02/06 05:24 CST

It appears that Phobos-Grunt was doomed before it launched on November 9, 2011. Cheap parts, design shortcomings, and lack of pre-flight testing ensured that the spacecraft would never fulfill its goals.

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Pretty picture: Enceladus, in lovely color

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/06 02:38 CST

Here's an awesome picture to start off the week. The data came from Cassini's flyby of Enceladus on January 31, 2011; it was part of Cassini's January 2012 data release.�

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The Arecibo Trip

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/02/03 01:09 CST | 1 comment

I have just returned from my first Planetary Society-sponsored trip to Puerto Rico and this historic, remarkable, big idea of a telescope.

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Guest Post: Patrick Donohue: Six days in the crater (day one)

Posted by Pat Donohue on 2012/02/03 10:02 CST

Guest Post: Patrick Donohue: Six days in the crater (day one)

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SpaceUp unconference in San Diego on Saturday

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/02 04:06 CST

This weekend is SpaceUp unconference in San Diego, and I'll be attending on Saturday. You can still register if you want to attend, but if you can't, some part of the unconference will be webcast on Spacevidcast.

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Yay for Juno! First major course correction complete

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/02 03:33 CST

JPL issued a news note today that the Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft has successfully completed the first of twelve trajectory correction maneuvers it'll perform between launch last year and Jupiter arrival in 2016. Its next maneuver will take place in August of this year. Go Juno!

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Watch the video from this week's Google+ Space Hangout

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/02 03:20 CST

Fraser Cain has organized a weekly Space Hangout that happens at 1800 UTC on Thursdays, and kindly invited me to participate. This week's lineup included him and me as well as Pamela Gay, Nicole Gugliucci, Alan Boyle, and Ian O'Neill. In this week's space hangout, we talked about the search for super earths, the non-discovery of life on Venus, new images from the far side of the Moon, nature versus nurture in star formation, and the tests of SpaceX's new rocket system.

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GRAIL MoonKAM's first (released) video of the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/01 03:49 CST

The first release from�MoonKAM, tiny cameras included on both GRAIL spacecraft whose only purpose is public outreach. Classrooms can sign up for opportunities to propose sites to image.�

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Post for Sandra Boynton: an apology for, and explanation of, my crescent-Moon pedantry

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/01 01:17 CST

A recent tweet by Al Yankovic tipped me to the fact that the children's book author, songwriter, and illustrator Sandra Boynton recently established a presence on Twitter. As I'm a huge fan of her oeuvre, I immediately followed her.

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